Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Writing Through a Writing Slump

Everything I've done so far today was part of a process leading to my spending the afternoon on the porch, writing in my journal and reading a few chapters in Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul.

This book revolutionized my writing: how I wrote, what I wrote, and how passionate I became about writing as a career and as my life's purpose.

My struggles with procrastination and my inner doubts and fears, smother my motivation. Yet regardless how often I read the book, each chapter fans the flagging flames of enthusiasm for writing.

Each writer's story inspires me to keep writing and sharing my work. Each story helps to confirm that writing is not a thing apart but an integral part of who I am and where I am in my life at this time. It is my whole existence, yes, my oxygen.

One week ago, just as I felt the beginnings of depression setting in, I sort for some inspiration to not fold but to keep vigilant and enthusiastic about my writing. Times like these are far too common with writers, I am told. At one time, early in my writing career, I wondered if it were really true. Well, I've discovered that it is not only true but sometimes unavoidable.

The negativity I endure seems to be a natural consequence of writing about common issues of life, which often involves sharing my own experiences and the complexities of my own life. That leaves me feeling exhausted. Added to that I often feel as if a blanket of emotional strain has descended upon me threatening to cover and even smother me with doubt about the relevance of what I write.

I hate feeling this way because initially I feel powerless to dismiss it, turn away, walk away and continue writing. I try, I really try but most often, it is to no avail. Riding it out with daily journal writing sessions coupled with a few hours of work-related writing always helps to keep me on a slow steady course back to my life's path.

Here I am wallowing in a bit of self-pity (not good) when I'm alerted to an email message. The editor of an online newsletter just purchased three of my articles to run in the next three monthly issues. She published another article in this month's issue as well. That's four articles sold - Wham, Bam!

So I'm thinking, why the depression, why the self-pity. Makes no sense to me really but I take it all in stride, rejoice when I receive acceptance emails and dance when I receive the checks.

Am I still depressed and uninspired? Well, let’s just that I feel the enthusiasm rising as I head out to the porch as planned.

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